May 9th, 2003

Dancing Thru

In loving memory: Sasha

I hope the verdent fields of the cat Summerland are full of good hunting, Thai food, nachos, and other passions of Sasha's, my lovely little "seven-toed cat burglar" who was always accused of being the "next stage in cat evolution." She was 17, so she had a good long life, though I'd hoped she'd last for another couple years. And might have, if not for circumstances.

She passed away during the night, curled up in my arisade, from hemobartonella, a rare blood parasite that I'd never heard of before.

Yes, her tooth was bad, that turned out to by a symptom, not a cause. My vet was suspicious there was something more going on, and ordered up a battery of tests. It at least showed what actually killed her. And at least she died at home, in her sleep. The vet said that he wouldn't have survived surgery. The only thing that *might* have saved her was a transfusion. And that was if-y.

Apparently, this blood paracite functions much like malaria, and is transmitted much like it, by flea and mosquito bits. She was fine a few months ago, but apparently got it just recently. The bad news is that the other two cats have now had to be hauled in for emergency blood tests, as this can be passed among cats, via fleabites, and if they've been infected, they need to be treated aggressively *now.* They don't know of a case in San Jose, before now. There was a minor outbreak in Sacramento a few years ago, but that was about it. Great, my cat was "patient zero" in a new outbreak. I just hope it doesn't hop species boundaries, as I don't want to be "patient zero" either.

Wanting to reset this year, one more time. It's starting to feel like "the End Times" on a very personal level. This is #3 on my support structure, the cat I was extremely bonded with. It would have been easier if she hadn't been doing pretty well, just a couple days ago.

I'm starting not to wonder so much as if or when the next one hits, but WHO...